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The absence of common values and failure of common security in Southern Africa, 1992-2003

By Laurie Nathan


This paper seeks to contribute to an inquiry into the factors that affect the viability and efficacy of regional organisations in Africa as peacemaking and security forums. The main aim of the paper is to explain the Southern African Development Community’s limited success in peacemaking and in its efforts to establish a common security regime. Three major problems are discussed: the absence of common values among member states, which inhibits the development of trust, institutional cohesion, common policies and unified responses to crises; the reluctance of states to surrender sovereignty to a security regime that encompasses binding rules and decision-making; and the economic and administrative weakness of states. These are all national problems that cannot be solved at the regional level. Paradoxically, the challenge of common security in Southern Africa is less a regional than a national challenge

Topics: JZ International relations, DT Africa
Publisher: Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2004
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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